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Information About Quality

Nebraska's hospitals participate in a variety of quality initiatives, in an effort to assure that the care you receive is the right care, every time. There are many web sites that contain information about the quality of care provided by hospitals. When you look at the information presented on any of these web sites, it is important to read how the data is collected and how it may be used so that you fully understand what the information is, and is not, telling you.

The Hospital Compare web site http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov is a tool that provides you with information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions. This information will help you compare the quality of care hospitals provide. Hospital Compare was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and organizations that represent employers, accrediting organizations, other Federal agencies and the public. Talk to your doctor about this information to help you, your family and your friends make the best hospital care decisions.

A word of caution about small numbers and the information presented on the Hospital Compare web site. Not all information can be accurately displayed by graphs. If a facility treats a smaller number of patients, a graph may not be the best way to share information. A facility may be providing care that meets the nationally recognized standards for ‘best practices’, but due to small numbers it is not displayed graphically. On the Hospital Compare web site, if a hospital treats fewer than 25 patients with the selected medical condition, their information will not be displayed on the graphs, but is viewable in table format.

The Joint Commission's (http://www.jointcommission.org) mission is to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States including 24 NHA member hospitals in Nebraska.

In 2007 the Joint Commission published a report titled, Improving America’s Hospitals: A Report on Quality and Safety. This report discusses how America’s accredited hospitals performed against evidence-based quality measures relating to the care of heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia, and to surgical infection prevention during 2005. This report also presents hospital performance in complying with the requirements of the Joint Commission 2005 National Patient Safety Goals. To view the report, go to http://www.jointcommissionreport.org

The Joint Commission routinely provides information about each hospital it accredits via the Quality Check web site www.qualitycheck.org.

The United Health Foundation's mission is to support the health and medical decisions made by physicians, health professionals, community leaders and individuals that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. To support healthy communities, the Foundation annually publishes America's Health Rankings – a comprehensive, state-by-state analysis of the relative healthiness of the American population. According to the report, the cost of clinical care in Nebraska is moderate compared to other states and the quality of care is high.



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